Georgian mobile operator Cellfie Mobile, which was known as VEON (Beeline) until April 2023, was the only participant in the country’s 5G spectrum auction, after larger competitors MagtiCom and SilkNet opted not to participate in the process. According to telecoms regulator the Communications Commission, Cellfie Mobile secured spectrum in the 1800MHz band (2×5MHz) for GEL1.386 million and the 2600MHz range (two lots for GEL226,000 apiece), as well as frequencies in the 700MHz (2×5MHz) and 3500MHz (1×50MHz) bands for a combined GEL2.657 million. It is required to pay 30% of the total cost of GEL4.497 million within one month. Spectrum licences for the 1800MHz and 2600MHz carry an obligation to allow network access to MVNOs on fair and non-discriminatory terms.

According to the regulator, MagtiCom and SilkNet objected to this obligation, while in turn the duo accused the Communications Commission of ‘deliberately spreading misinformation’ and ‘misleading the public’, adding that the regulator did not take their comments and suggestions on the planned auction into consideration. Furthermore, the pair reiterated that they welcome the introduction of MVNOs, but on a commercially negotiated basis, taking into account mutual interests, rather than being forced and coerced into doing so.

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